ARE you interested in sharing your views on life in Tamworth, council spending, local services and other important issues?
Tamworth Borough Council is looking for more people to join its database of residents, businesses and voluntary groups who are willing to be contacted throughout the year as part of regular consultation events.
Members of the Citizens Panel are consulted on a range of issues throughout the year, including how taxpayers’ money is spent, local facilities and services, regeneration, housing, litter and anti-social behaviour.
This is mainly in the form of three or four postal or online surveys per year, which do not take long to complete. Very occasionally, people may be asked to take part in meetings, exhibitions or focus groups. The key is that feedback from the Citizens Panel is used to inform decisions about how services are delivered.
Cllr Daniel Cook, Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, said: “The Citizens Panel gives us a large group of Tamworth residents who we can go to as part of our consultation process. While we try to engage with as many people as possible through a variety of means, this database is incredibly useful in ensuring that all major consultations are sent directly to people who live, work and volunteer in Tamworth.
“For example, one of the consultations sent out to the Citizens Panel is the Budget Consultation, which asks people where and how they think money should be spent. These views are then taken into account when future spending priorities are determined, so the more people who are on that panel, and take part in that debate, the better.
“There are currently around 200 people on the Citizens Panel and we really value and appreciate their input. However, as a percentage of the town’s population, this is rather low and we would really like to improve this. Consultation is a key method of ensuring we are delivering what local people want when it comes down to the detail.
“It’s important to point out that you don’t have to be registered with the Citizens Panel to give your views – all Tamworth Borough Council’s current consultations are advertised via www.tamworth.gov.uk/consultation – but being a member does mean that you will receive direct notification that a consultation has been launched. You may also be asked to take part in more in-depth events, such as focus groups or meetings.
“For a small sacrifice in time, you can be having your say on important matters affecting the way your services are run.”
The next consultation which people will be asked to take part in is the Budget Consultation, which will be launched this summer. The results of this will help shape spending across the borough when the 2020/2021 budget is set.
If you are over 18 and live or work in Tamworth and would like to join the Citizens Panel, please fill in an online form via www.tamworth.gov.uk/consultation or email firstname.lastname@example.org.